Lebedev defends WBA cruiserweight title
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Denis Lebedev successfully defended his WBA cruiserweight title Friday with a unanimous decision against France’s Youri Kalenga.
Lebedev controlled the pace of the fight from the start, although he was knocked down in the fourth round when he slipped and Kalenga hit him with a haymaker left to the face.
The Frenchman was in charge for the next three rounds before Lebedev knocked Kalenga down cleanly, after which the Russian, now with a 27-2 record, held the initiative for the rest of the fight.
Kalenga tired badly in the later rounds and took serious punishment from Lebedev’s left hooks, but the Russian was unable to secure a 21st career knockout.
Lebedev took the win by 116-111, 115-112 and 115-112 on the three scorecards. It is his second defense since he was awarded the title last year after Panama’s Guillermo Jones tested positive for a banned substance.
Kalenga, who had held the interim version of the WBA title since June, slips to a 21-2 record.
On the undercard, unbeaten Eduard Troyanovsky knocked out fellow Russian Aik Shakhnazaryan to win the vacant IBO super lightweight title and move to a 21-0 record.
Unbeaten Russian cruiserweight Dmitry Kudryashov maintained his unbeaten record in his 17th pro fight, knocking out New York-born Puerto Rican Francisco Palacios in less than 50 seconds.
Former heavyweight world title contender Manuel Charr of Germany suffered a surprise defeat to France’s Johann Duhaupas, dropping to 27-3.